Down in Jozi: Interview with fashion Influencer, Loretta Hove

In the spirit of diversity, INfleur catches up with a beautiful, young and fast-rising influencer from Zimbabwe. Based in South Africa, however, Loretta Hove is a student by day, and a fashionista by night! Her love for fashion drove her to co-start an online boutique. Plus, she has used Instagram to turn things around for her. Through her increasing following, she’s collaborated with top brands like Gucci Timepiece and Revlon. In this interview, Loretta shares how she’s adapted as an influencer, in a region where it’s a relatively new concept. Enjoy!

 

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A Biggie moment. T-Shirt from @the_teeezsa

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What do you do, how did you get into it and what you love most about it?

Loretta: “I’m a bit of a busy body; I am a fashion and lifestyle influencer. I also co-own an online fashion boutique called Xariah (xariah.com) and I’m in the process of completing my degree in BBA in Marketing management. But what truly drives me is the fashion aspect of my life”.

I’ve been into designing and styling since I was a little girl & when Instagram became a thing I used it to showcase my different looks. With the overwhelming positive response I continued to grow & that inspired the forming of Xariah. The thing I love the most about what I do is the freedom of expression it allows as well as the inspiration it gives others.

 

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What are some of your favorite fashion brands?

Loretta: Well, Xariah, ofcourse (lol). I also love Nichole Lynel as she has the most unique fashion pieces. And a huge fav is Jluxlabel – they represent a lot of what my personal style embodies – effortless, sexy, classy & a touch of femininity.

What are some of your favorite things to do?

Loretta: I am an exceptionally boring individual. So, snacks, a glass of wine or bubbles, Netflix, chill = the perfect evening for me. Although I do love a good sundownders cocktail date with my boyfriend. Or a champagne lunch meet up with the girls. Basically, anything that includes food, wine/champagne and genuine good vibes I love!

 

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Every day should be more like this… Yesterday #ootd

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Being that you live in South Africa, how difficult or easy is it being an influencer? Has this ‘career’ been widely accepted?

Loretta: It is not easy at all to be an influencer in South Africa. It’s a relatively new industry and brands are getting into it increasingly now that they’ve recognized the power of marketing through them. However, it is very much about favourites.

“It is not easy at all to be an influencer in South Africa. It’s a relatively new industry and brands are getting into it increasingly. However, it is very much about favourites.”

As much as I’ve received (and am utterly grateful for) numerous brand deals; a lot of these brands tend to use the same faces.
Regardless of whether the brand image is aligned to a certain influencers’ personal brand – these brands will still use them, simply because of their following & exposure. Which I see as wrong in many ways; as a micro-influencer who is potentially the best fit for the brand would be overlooked simply because they have half the following of the chosen influencer.

So which brands have you worked with so far? Any others on your wish list?

Loretta: I’ve had the pleasure of working with a few brands, the main ones include: Daniel Wellington, Gucci Timepiece, Yardley London, Revlon, DSTV (local broadcast service provider), Truworths (local fashion brand) & Happy Socks.

“A brand I’d REALLY love to work with is Maybelline – think they have such a fresh voice in the beauty industry, something I embody. Plus they’re super affordable – who doesn’t like to save a little extra coin?”

What one thing do you hate most about social media?

Loretta: I am not a fan of the haters – I don’t think anyone likes those. I also really dislike the lack of originality at times. Yes, if there is a hot new trend a lot of us (including me) will jump on it and show off a personal touch to it.

However, I’ve seen many times (even been subjected to) an individual with a smaller following will post a super cute trend – it will get likes and comments respectively. However, a larger influencer will copy (not draw inspiration from) the exact same outfit – and they get ALL the credit. It really sucks for smaller creatives.

“Regardless of whether the brand image is aligned to a certain influencers’ personal brand – these brands will still use them, simply because of their following & exposure… which I see as wrong in many ways”

Down in Jozi: Interview with Zimbabwean Influencer, Loretta Hove

 

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She just tryna stunt on the old her… #ootd

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Name some of your favourite influencers.

Loretta: I love Janice Joostema – her life looks like pure goals.

Layllah Style – obsessed with her fashion & her aesthetic is life!

Charlie Kamale – always has fashion inspo with the sexy ‘girl next door’ vibe

Serrabellum – she’s such an original breath of fresh air, who doesn’t love her!?

 

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I’ve been waiting on me my whole life, I think she’s finally arrived..🌱

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So far, is blogging/influencing as you imagined it? In what way is your family supporting your dream?

Loretta: Infuencing has been great and is a lot harder than I had anticipated. Like anything, it has its ups and downs but, ultimately, I enjoy it. I don’t see it as a full-time career goal, as I don’t believe it is at a place where it can provide a sustainable lifestyle here in South Africa.

But I enjoy it as a hobby, to earn extra income as well as support small businesses. My family is amazing with the support as they allow me free reign on this journey, if I need a photographer my mum, my brother or my boyfriend will always show up; if I need a shoot location, my aunts & uncles always open up their homes to me. They have all been great support.

“Infuencing has been great and is a lot harder than I had anticipated… I don’t see it as a full-time career goal…but I enjoy it as a hobby and my family is amazing with the support”

If you could change something about the world, what would you change?

Loretta: That’s such a tough one, honestly, I don’t know. I’d honestly want there to be no such thing as insecurity – that everyone was confident in themselves and how they look. I think I’d change the ‘standardization’ of beauty. Make it that everyone has their own beauty someway, somehow and have the world TRULY believe and live by that. Imagine how much more love there would be if people weren’t jealous and spiteful of other people based on that!?

There’s a general perception that influencers are paid to do what they do, making them seem ‘inauthentic’. How does social media influencing affect people’s lives, in your opinion?

Loretta: “I think it is important to stay true to yourself and your supporters especially. I, myself, have been in a situation whereby I was paid to promote a product that I was not satisfied with myself. Instead of going ahead and just posting false praises – I went back to the brand and let them know what issues I faced with it.”

Whether they decided to work with me again or not was entirely up to them, but in the end I felt good that I had kept my integrity. I could not honestly tell 20 000+ people to go out and spend their hard-earned money on a product I would never use on myself. As business ethics go, it’s incredibly important for influencers to be honest with their followers because at the end of the day – they are the reason you remain ‘influential’.

“I think it is important to stay true to yourself and your supporters especially…As business ethics go, it’s incredibly important for influencers to be honest with their followers because at the end of the day – they are the reason you remain ‘influential’.”

 

 

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#selfie 🌸

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Maybe a little secret. Let us in on something your followers don’t know about you.

Loretta: I am a huge introvert. I don’t go out to parties or any of the sort as I enjoy being indoors with my family & friends. I’m also super shy – plus I have resting bitch face so it’s all just an awful combo.

What three things must you have on you if you were stuck alone on earth?

Loretta: Can 1 of them be a person? My boyfriend (lol). No, I’d have my laptop (could possibly watch a few shows & play games I guess); Lipbalm (‘cause ain’t nobody got time for ashy lips) and a huge fluffy blanket (I am ALWAYS cold).

 

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This blonde’s just got a hold on me. 👱🏾‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️ #ootd @xariahofficial

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Amanda Lucy

AMANDA IS A 24 YEAR OLD COLLEGE GRADUATE. LOVES MUSIC,DANCE AND IS AN ARDENT USER OF THE INTERNET. YOU CAN FOLLOW HER INSTAGRAM @nana_yaba. SHE STARTED WRITING FOR INFLEUR IN NOVEMBER 2017

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